Inspired by the sea-inspired James Joyce poem of the same name, ‘Noise Of The Waters’ is the second EP from Brighton folk duo, Hickory Signals. Made up of multi-instrumentalists Laura Ward and Adam Ronchetti, the pair combine strong vocal melodies with vibrant guitar, shruti, flute, glockenspiel and pulsing percussion; layering sounds carefully and minimally to create atmospheric folk.

Making melodies reminiscent of music past, their inspiration comes not only from bygone songs and lyrics but also the illustrative world of literature and poetry. When singing ominously about 17th century soldiers burning down fields and stealing grain in ‘Irish Ways’  the duo conjure up darkened images of Ireland’s past made all the more arresting by the conviction and purity in Ward’s voice.hickory_news_pic

Elsewhere, traditional song, ‘The Unquiet Grave’ echoes Laura Marling’s sing-song, confessional style – with string accents adding a mysterious air to the tale of decaying hearts and lost love.

Title track, ‘Noise Of The Waters’ merges haunting flute lines with cleansing water imagery, offering a redemptive feeling that evokes a by-gone era of ominous storytelling, while ‘Take The Window’ descends into a raging revenge ditty, made all the more piercing by Ward’s clear and meandering vocal style.

Another, ‘Bows and Arrows’, sees the duo explore the mechanics of man-made arrows, traps and fishing lines for catching unattainable birds, deer and fish. The song states that building anything (bridges, schools, tools) requires education “but still there are things we cannot know…”. A cautionary tale that subtly explores the dangers of our human penchant for fixing and often, destroying.

Ward and Ronchetti are joined on this EP by Stick In The Wheel’s Ian Carter, who provides the production, and skilled violinist, Tom Pryor, whose sensitivity and musicality help make the collection an utter joy to listen to.

‘Noise Of The Waters’ EP is out now.

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